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What is workforce development?

Workforce development is the coordination of public and private-sector policies and programs that provides individuals with the opportunity for a sustainable livelihood and helps organizations achieve exemplary goals, consistent with the societal context.*

What Role Does IAWP Play in the Workforce System?

For over 100 years, IAWP has provided educational, recognition, and networking opportunities to those working in the workforce development profession. We educate our members on trends within the workforce system, provide information on new laws and rules that impact service delivery, and provide professional and career development opportunities to improve and enhance their skills. Our Workforce Professional Development Program provides certificate programs on topics such as resume writing, interview skills, facilitation, and history of the workforce profession. We elevate our profession by offering our Certified Workforce Professional designation to those who demonstrate an outstanding effort in learning about and keeping with the profession. IAWP honors innovative organizations, groups, and individuals for their contributions to workforce development and the workforce system. And, with members across the world, we provide an opportunity to network and connect with colleagues.

Our History

Our association (now known as the International Association of Workforce Professionals) was founded in 1913. Dr. William Morris Leiserson is generally credited with being our founder. Dr. Leiserson sent a two page letter (yes, I am certain it was an actual letter, probably typed on a manual upright typewriter) to 61 superintendents of public employment offices distributed over nineteen states (fifty-four of these offices were operated by state governments and seven by municipalities) on June 11, 1913. Please click here to see more.

Our Vision

Empower professionals in the workforce development system to deliver world class services and programs.

Our Mission

Strengthen the workforce development system through professional development, education, and networking.

Our Core Values

  1. Integrity: Above all, we think and act with integrity each day and in each decision we make. This requires personal and collective integrity. Our brand is both fragile and powerful and requires our constant attention. We take to heart our values, vision and mission. We are honest, reliable and caring in our dealings with other people, both in and outside the association.
  2. Collaboration: We believe in the awesome power of working together. Together, we are stronger and contribute more, leading to greater success than when working alone or with an individual focus. Trust and care are the foundation of collaboration.
  3. Fellowship: We come together to share a common interest in our profession. We stay together as we build friendships that last a lifetime. Together, we welcome new people into our family with open arms. We take care of each other in good times and bad. We are loyal to our association and to each other.
  4. Inclusiveness: We acknowledge, honor, and respect the value and dignity of all individuals. We create and maintain an environment that respects diverse backgrounds, traditions, heritages, and experiences.
  5. Community: We believe in being a responsible partner locally, nationally, and internationally. We work to make the places we work and live better through volunteering. We look for opportunities to pay our good fortunes forward.
  6. Stewardship: We are effective stewards of financial, human, and natural resources. Our stewardship extends to all the resources we have been given, including the dues we receive, our reputation and the good will of our communities.

Member Benefits

Please click here to join today and begin receiving the benefits of membership.

*Jacobs and Hawley, Ohio State University

IAWP Member Benefits